Lucid Builder Tutorial

Tutorial 2 – Scoring the Key

Before starting to score the key, it is useful to have the species information (Appendix 1) on hand to assist scoring the key. It’s also assumed that you have either completed Tutorial 1 and have entered Features and Entities for the key. Or open the unscored edition of the key found in the tutorial file pack. There are essential three ways to ‘score’ your key (enter score data).
  1. Scoring Entities by Features.
  2. Scoring Features by Entities.
  3. Scoring via the Spreadsheet view.
The scoring method your choose is entirely a personal preference. The scores entered by any of the methods results in the same set of data, they are just different views of the score data. Start by opening your tutorial key or the pre-made unscored tutorial key in the Lucid Builder. To make viewing the score options within the Features and Entities start by expanding all levels of the hierarchy for both Features and Entities. Do this by setting focus on the Features Panel and click the expand tree option Lucid expand tree icon on the main toolbar. Once expanded do the same by setting focus on the Entities Panel and clicking the expand tree option again in the main toolbar. Next, enable Score Mode by clicking on the ‘Enable Score Mode’ button Toggle score mode icon located on the scoring panel to the right of the Entities panel. When Score Mode is enabled, the various score buttons and options will be shown.
Lucid Builder Score toolbar options
Lucid Builder Score toolbar options.

Notes on Scoring

  • Multiple scores for states frequently occur; for example, some fungal species have more than one colour present and so all relevant colour states should be ticked (scored).
  • In at least some cases, misinterpretations of states can exist. For example, in a number of species, a cursory glance may suggest that the substrates of moss and humus are common. This is not usually the case and a closer inspection will show that the species are growing on soil amongst litter, humus or moss. These situations can be dealt with by using the 'Common Misinterpreted Score'. I.e. Tick soil as present and moss/humus as Misinterpreted.
  • A blank (Absent) score indicates that a particular state does not occur for that taxon. Where there is uncertainty, you should use the uncertain score "?".
  • Since Lucid allows you to set up a hierarchy of Entities - such as Family, Genus, species - you can propagate scores to children under a specific parent by pressing Control (ctrl) key when you click to score in the score box for the parent. For more information on score propagation see the Lucid Builder score help.

To commence scoring make sure that the first species ‘darwinensis‘ is selected in the Entities window and then use the description for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis to fill in the tick boxes. The entry data for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis is given below with a suggested score in brackets beside each selected state.


By default, the large blue tick of Common Score will be active and can be left at this setting unless a different score is indicated.

Shape – convex to hemispherical (common)
Dominant color – pink and brown with pinkish tints (both scored as common); (This is not a good match, but suffices for the example.)
Surface texture – smooth (common)
Surface viscidity – dry (common)

Attachment to stem – bow-shaped or running down the stem (common)
Color – pink (common) Glutinous margin – absent (common)

Dominant colour – white to pale cream (common)
Surface texture – smooth to powdery (both these scores are common); sometimes hairy (rare)
Surface viscidity – dry (common)

Shape – sub-globose to globose (common)
Contents – hyaline (common)
Length range (micrometres) – (4.0-) 4.5-5.2-6.0 (use Numeric Scores, see further below for more details on this.)
Dimorphism – absent (common)

Ecology and Distribution
Habitat – monsoon forest or sclerophyll forest (both scored as common)
Growth habit – gregarious or caespitose (both scored as common)
Substrate – soil (common)
State distribution – NT Qld (both scored as common)

To insert the Spore Length Range, select its scores box. Any Numeric Score state can always be identified by the presence of a hash mark Numeric score not set icon within the score box. A text entry window will appear with a row ready for insertion of the range of values. Depending on which score view you are using (scoring Features for a selected Entity vs scoring Entities for a Feature) the Numeric Score dialog will list the Feature for scoring for the selected Entity, or it will list all the Entities for the selected Feature, with the selected Entity highlighted ready for data entry. Examples of the two scoring views regarding the Numeric Score dialog are shown below.
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog scoring by a Feature example
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog scoring by a Feature example.
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog scoring by Entity example
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog scoring by Entity example.
Insert the values as given into the text entry boxes. The Builder automatically ensures that the correct sequential values for a range are entered so that each new entry is either equal to or greater than the previously entered value. Finally, enter the units of measurement – micrometers – and press Enter. Lucid’s Numeric scores also support misinterpretation and uncertainty. The Numeric Score Type can be selected by clicking on the score type text for the Numeric Feature where a drop down list will appear. For more information on misinterpreted and uncertain numeric scores, see Builder Help. The completed entry for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis are shown below.
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog showing score values for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog showing score values for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis.
After saving the key, complete scoring the State entries for the remainder of the species and then re-save the key. This now has a completely scored key which is ready for later insertion of species data such as text and images, etc.


At any time, the key can be tested using the built in Player launch function. To access the function, select the Preview Key button Preview icon on the main toolbar.

This will start a copy of the Lucid Player with the key automatically loaded and ready for use in your preferred web browser. Any aspect of the key can then be checked for its operation. For more information about the Lucid Player, see the Lucid Player Help.

Lucid Builder v4

Lucid Builder Scoring the key

Lucid Builder Score toolbar options
Lucid Builder Score toolbar options.

About Lucid scores

Multi-state features in Lucid may be scored using seven possible scores:

A more in depth explanation of each score type is available. Below outlines a summary of each.

Absent score icon Absent – the state does not occur in the entity.

common score icon Common – the state occurs commonly (or always) in the entity.

rare score iconRare – the state occurs rarely in the entity.

uncertain score icon Uncertain – it is not known whether the state occurs in the entity or not

common misinterpreted score icon Common and Misinterpreted – the state does not occur in the entity, but it could be commonly misinterpreted that it does.

rare misinterpreted score icon Rare and Misinterpreted – the state does not occur in the entity, but it could be misinterpreted that it does, though only rarely.

not scoped score icon Not Scoped – all states of the feature are not scored and will not be scored for the entity.

Numeric features in Lucid may be scored using four possible scores:

Numeric score not set icon  Numeric absent – the numeric feature does not occur in the entity

Numeric score set icon Normal – the numeric feature occurs normally in the entity

Numeric score set icon Misinterpreted – the numeric feature does not occur in the entity, but it could be misinterpreted that it does.

Numeric score set icon Uncertain – the value for the numeric feature for the entity is not known.

not scoped score icon Not Scoped – the numeric feature is not scored and will not be scored for the entity


Normal, Misinterpreted and Uncertain numeric scores are set and distinguished via the Numeric Score Dialog not within the item trees.

Once a numeric Feature has been scored the icon changes to bold.


Scoring multi-state features in the Features and Entities panels

Lucid Builder Score Mode button and Score Mode toggle buttonThe simplest way to score entities and features in the Lucid Builder is to click the Enable Score Mode Toggle score mode icon  button  to the right of the Entities panel. If the currently active selected item is an entity, score boxes will appear in the Features tree; if the currently active selected item is a state, score boxes will appear in the Entities tree. At any time you can flip between scoring entities for a state, or states for an entity, by clicking on the Change Score Mode Toggle score mode type icon button.


If a Feature node is selected in the Features tree instead of a state node, clicking on the Enable Score Mode button will place the Entities tree into score mode but no score boxes will appear. In this case, select a state in the Features tree. Similarly, if nodes of the Features tree are closed so no states are visible, clicking on Enable Score Mode with an entity selected will place the Features tree into score mode but no score boxes will appear. In this case, open nodes in the Features tree to display some states.

Lucid Builder Score toolbarWhen the Lucid Builder is placed in score mode, a series of buttons providing the different possible scores will appear to the right hand side of the Entities panel. Choose the appropriate score by clicking on one of the score buttons, then click on one or more score boxes in the Features or Entities panels.

Scores can be changed at any time, simply by choosing a different score and clicking on a scored box again.

Note that the Not Scoped score can only be applied to all states of a feature. If the Not Scoped score is selected, clicking on the score box for any state will set all states of the feature to Not Scoped. Conversely, if the states of a feature are currently coded using Not Scoped, giving any other score to one state will cause all other states to be given the Absent score.

Propagate scores icon Score propagation

If your key has an Entity hierarchy it is possible to have the Lucid Builder propagate an applied score to a parent entity to propagated down to all the children. The score propagation option can be toggled on or off depending on your needs via the Propagate score mode button Propagate scores icon on the Score toolbar. Alternatively, if you only wish to enable score propagation temporarily you can hold down the Control (ctrl) key when you apply a score to a parent Entity.


Any score applied to the parent Entity, while Score Propagation is enabled, will overwrite any scores that have already been applied to the child Entities. You can override the propagated score with another score value at anytime. If you mistakenly override scores to child Entities use Undo (ctrl + z) to revert back to the original scores.

Scoring multi-state features in the Score Spreadsheet

Scoring in the Features or Entities trees provides a view of all state scores for one entity, or all entity scores for one state. The Spreadsheet Scoring panel allows you to see all scores arranged into a handy spreadsheet, with entities as columns and states as rows.

To use Spreadsheet score mode, click the Spreadsheet Scoring tab at the base of the tree panels.

Lucid Builder Spreadsheet scoring tab
Lucid Builder Spreadsheet scoring tab
Lucid Builder Spreadsheet scoring example
Lucid Builder Spreadsheet scoring example

To score, select the scoring type needed from the scoring buttons to the right, then click the scoring box corresponding to the entity and feature you wish to score.

The feature list can be expanded or contracted by clicking the plus or minus buttons located next to the parent items or by using the expand all and collapse all buttons in the main toolbar.

Spreadsheet “bulk” Scoring

Where common scores apply to a number of entities listed next to each other or character states you can use “bulk score” functionality. Use the context menu (mouse right click) to mark the start cell, then move the pointer to the last cell across where you wish to apply the scores, you will see the range of cells to be scored highlighted pink, then click to score the cell. All cells between the selected cells will take on this new score value. This same technique can be also used to un-score or change scores in cells. It can also be applied across multiple rows. You can exit bulk scoring mode using the escape key.

Display settings in the Spreadsheet Scoring panel are set through the Builder Preferences dialog box.

See the topic Configuring the Lucid Builder for more information.

Scoring numeric features

In score mode in the Features or Entities trees or in the Spreadsheet Scoring panel, numeric features are shown with a hash symbol in the score box Numeric score set icon. Clicking on a numeric feature’s score box will open the Numeric Scores panel. In this panel, enter the values that the entity can have for the feature.

Four values may be entered – for the outside minimum, normal minimum, normal maximum and outside maximum. Think of the outside scores as rare ranges and the inside as a normal range. For instance, a plant may have leaves that are normally 10-20 mm long, but are occasionally as low as 8 mm or as high as 25 mm. In text, this is often written (8-)10-20(-25). In the dialog box, use 8 for Outside Minimum, 10 for Normal Minimum, 20 for Normal Maximum and 25 for Outside Maximum.

It is not necessary for all these values to be different. The following table gives some examples of valid scores:

Valid Numeric Scores table example


Sometimes a taxon will need to be scored with a disjunct range. For instance, consider a plant that may have 5 or 10-15 petals. In this case, click on the Add Numeric Record button in the Numeric Features panel. A new row will be inserted into the Numeric Scores panel. Score the two (or more) disjunct ranges in separate rows:

Numeric Scoring disjunct range example
Numeric Scoring disjunct range example

The Score Type column in the Numeric Scores panel can be used to assign numeric scores of type NormalUncertain and Misinterpreted.

Use Normal when the values entered are normal for the entity being scored. This is equivalent to the Normally Present and Rarely Present scores for a multi-state feature.

Use the Misinterpreted score type when you are scoring a numeric range for a Feature that may be misinterpreted as being present. For example, a key to insects may include a species that has very small antennae, but large antenna-like structures that could be misinterpreted by a user as being antennae. In this case record the length of the real antennae using a Normal numeric score, and record the length of the antenna-like structures using a Misinterpreted numeric score:

Numeric Scoring Misinterpreted example
Numeric Scoring Misinterpreted example

In this way, a key builder can preempt a mistake made by a user measuring the length of the pseudo-antennae instead of the real antennae.

Use the Uncertain score type to record that a value for a numeric feature is currently unknown.

For more information on the way Misinterpreted and Uncertain scores are handled in the Lucid Player, see How to use the Lucid scores.

Numeric Precision

It is recommend that you maintain a consistent precision level through the scoring of numerics. Take the following example,

 Festuca occidentalis, with scored anther lengths of (1) 1.5 – 2.5 (3) mm

A user of the key enters the following value for the anthers in the Player of 0.5-0.6

Because of the difference between precision on the first compared anther value (1) for Festuca occidentalis, Lucid rounds the 0.5 to 1, leaving Festuca occidentalis in the entities remaining. If the precision level was set to (1.0) then no rounding would occur and Festuca occidentalis would be discarded as a match.